Everyone should have a plan in place for incapacity, affirms fox5atlanta.com in a recent article, “Estate, emergency planning for single people.” This is especially true for singles. While married couples can usually rely on each other, or their adult children, in case of emergency, what happens to singles who don’t have family members? You need a backup plan and a backup person.
In many instances, singles don’t have a backup plan. If you are young and single, then you typically aren’t thinking about a worst-case scenario at all.
There are several types of things that a backup person would do for you. First is access your cash. Your backup would have access to money, in the event of an emergency.
You'll require someone to make healthcare decisions, if you're incapacitated. Therefore, this person would also be your healthcare agent. You would grant your agent a power of attorney for healthcare. You’ll also need someone to make financial decisions on your behalf, if you’re incapacitated. You would also grant power of attorney to your trusted agent for this function, or better yet, have assets owned by a revocable living trust and name that person as a co-trustee or successor trustee.
Finally, you'll need an executor of your will.
What this means is that your backup will have access to some very sensitive information about you and your assets. Until this information is needed by your backup, there is a way to keep it safe and private.
Make a list of your assets, debts, and insurance policies, plus copies of your passport, and place them in a sealed envelope, this is your financial package. It should include your passwords to bank accounts, credit cards, e-mails, and social media accounts. Note, however, that unless that person is named as a trustee on your account, most financial institutions’ “term of service” contracts will not allow an agent under power of attorney or an executer online access. Make a packet for your backup person, your estate planning attorney, and your executor. The sealed packet can be directed in your will or trust as not to be opened by your backup person until your passing. This needs to be reviewed and updated annually. You also will want to discuss with your backup person about what to do in the event of an emergency or your death so they know how to gain access to the information they need to take care of things. Make sure you consult with your estate planning attorney about all the legalities of establishing your backup person.
For singles, it is just as important to have an estate plan as it is for those who are not. You want to ensure your wishes are carried out when you are unable to do so, and to make that happen you need a plan and someone close to you who is willing to fulfill your wishes.
For more information about estate, financial, and emergency planning as a single person, visit our website today to schedule your consultation!
Reference: fox5atlanta.com (June 14, 2018) “Estate, emergency planning for single people”